Deadly Backyard Plants and the Trees They Strangle

We have a pretty birch tree in our back yard that is one of those trees that splits into several trunks very close to the ground so that it looks more like a collection of trees rather than just one. It has lovely leaves and nice bark and was wonderful for climbing in when I was young enough and small enough for it to support my weight.

It has, however, for the past few years faced a deadly enemy: wisteria.

The wistera monster that we have in our back yard has always been a voracious plant. As you can see by the link, they can grow as high as 20m. I doubt this is 20m, but...
As you can see (not very clearly), all that purple is wisteria that has climbed the birch tree and spread itself out like a canopy of verdant death. I had to take this picture out a window on our second story because trying to capture it from below just wasn't working. Let me assure you that the flowers extend a good hundred feet across at the top.

It is stretching vines out along the ground in an attempt to start making its way up our maple tree, too. Also, there is a very young oak sapling that unluckily happened to start growing but a few feet from the base of the wisteria and now the poor thing has very little hope for survival.

My mom and I agree that the wisteria plant is pretty, and it smells wonderful. She says grapes, I say honeysuckle (which grows on our back fence in droves). However, it draws bees in from the surround fifteen miles in any direction. At least. Today I was fortunate enough to think of getting a picture in the chilly, damp gray weather when the bees (yellowjackets and carpenter bees alike) are not out. Otherwise, I try not to come within five feet of the thing. I dislike bees greatly and get twitchy when there are a lot of them around me.

But, on the plus side, the butter cups are starting to come out.

Aren't they great? My mom and I love them and have to fight with my dad every summer not to mow them down. There's a patch in the lower half of the yard (rather near the wisteria, actually) that gets covered in butter cups every year. They're so sunny and happy. And absolutely full of pollen.

Well, that's my contribution to the garden/yard-flower/plant blog posts. I'll post more about my new job when my manager actually lets me do something for once, rather than just tag along after another server and watch what they do like some demented stalker.
Fun times.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness
-John Muir


Bells said...

Wisteria and buttercups. Lovely - even if the wisteria is a little out of control!

Donna Lee said...

Soon we will overcome and take out that wisteria. Ha.We will win and it will die. And maybe, just maybe, the poor birch tree will survive.